COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations spike as NJ officials seek to avoid panic over omicron variant

Next week marks one year since COVID-19 vaccines were authorized, and another milestone has been hit – 200 million people fully-vaccinated – as the battle against the coronavirus continues.
There are still concerns as cases and hospitalizations are spiking. The U.S. is up to 40 cases of the omicron variant.  
Gov. Phil Murphy and state health officials seeking to avoid panic over the omicron variant of COVID-19.
SEARCH FOR A CURE: Statistics and State Resources
During a virtual coronavirus briefing Wednesday, the governor said just one case of omicron has been detected in the state but that three more people are undergoing testing to see if they've been infected with the variant.
"When it comes to omicron, in particular yes we do not know how bad it will be. I'm certainly concerned, I'm feeling better over the last couple days with some of the news from Pfizer and other studies, but as you've mentioned, we'll learn a whole lot more in the next two weeks or so," says Dr. Ed Lifshitz, of Communicable Disease Service.  
State health officials still say vaccines remain the best protection against the new variant.